All right stop. Collaborate and listen.
Here is my two cents on the bots space - and considering that I’ve created multiple messenger bots, messenger sequences and bot broadcasts…. I proceed with enthusiasm.
I suggest you climb aboard the bots band wagon, fast.
However, don’t put all of your eggs into the one Bot basket.
Bots, like all things social media are experimental.
The sooner you experiment, the sooner you can decided on whether to scale your Bot OR bin it all together.
There are two types of chatbots, one functions based on a set of rules (marketing bots), and the other more advanced version uses machine learning (customer service bots).
Marketing Messenger Bots are hosted with tools such as FlowXO, Chat fuel and Many Chat. These bots are VERY effective and also limited. It can only respond to very specific commands.
Custom (AI) Bots has an artificial brain AKA artificial intelligence. This bot continuously gets smarter as it learns from conversations it has with people. Custom Bots are designed to provide users with a personalised experience.
See Boost Juice and Expedia for examples of these.
For the everyday businesses looking to approach automated messaging space - setting up a basic message assistant and welcome message is a great start.
This can be set up directly inside of Facebook in just a few clicks.
Taking your Bot to the next level involves a slightly juicier process.
Building a messenger bot on a 3rd party platform that can deliver your lead magnet, follow up messenger sequence essentially nurturing the lead through the sales process (think email sequence) THIS is a GOLDEN opportunity.
A popular program for to develop this process and host the bot is ManyChat.
For anything above and beyond the realms of delivering marketing messages - you’ll need a Custom Bot.
A Custom Bot is tricky to execute and require the expertise of a Facebook Developer and a sizeable investment.
Something all Bots have in common is the need for a creative agency who understands your brand and the social media landscape and how to develop the foundations of your Bot strategy.
TIP: You should not be spending tens of thousands on having a bot built - unless its custom.
You do not need a custom bot UNLESS you require custom element and/or large party data analytics.
Bots can be simple. However, it's not just the execution of the Bot that requires effort but the time dedicated to learning the process itself.
If you have an abundance of free time (and let’s be honest who does) building a Messenger Bot is well within your capabilities.
But smart people hire other people to do things like this - trust me.
What’s working now
Facebook Traffic Ads > Bot > Lead Magnet Delivery
Bot Messenger Sequences
Hybrid Bot + Human Experiences
So go ahead and launch you Bot but don’t over complicate the process, create a game plan that saves money, time and stress.